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While this is an awesome feature, it isnât always the most accurate. But if the logo were provided as an example of logo design, we might want to go further and opt for something like "Harvard University logo, featuring black, serif text and a red shield emblem", as in this example: It's a web-design convention to use a logo graphic as a link back to a site's home page. Write the text as text in the editor and let the publishing system apply styling. If an image fails to load, alt text will display in its place. The ALT text adds a text description to an image on a Web page, and should be used for all images, graphical bullets, and graphical horizontal rules. Alternative (Alt) Text is meant to convey the âwhyâ of the image as it relates to the content of a document or webpage. When writing alt text, consider what details the author thought was most important. For simple graphics, providing a succinct, informative text alternative is usually fine. Skip to content For example, the alt text for an image of a question mark that links to a help page should be âContact Supportâ rather than âquestion mark.â Images with complex information: If the image is a chartâ¦ The field is usually named âAlt-textâ, âAlternative textâ or âAltâ, but in some interfaces itâs called âImage descriptionâ or something similar. The alt text for the image should still describe the general content of the image. User agents should do their best to scale an object or image to match. If the image contains meaningful text, the alternate text should contain that text. Describe the image. For example, the alt text for an image of a question mark that links to a help page should be âContact Supportâ rather than âquestion mark.â. There are times where using alt text or image descriptions is pointless. CSS text styling by HUIT - Web, UX and Digital Accessibility Services (@hwpdas) If the image is a light blue button with rounded edges and dark red text with the word "Submit," the alt text should be simply: alt="submit" Don't worry about describing the non-essential visual aspects of the button's appearance. Remember, ALT text should describe the content of the image and nothing more. Alt text, also known as alternative text or alt tag, is a short description of the image that displays when a user canât access the image. Describe the function of the image, especially if the image is a link. But for complex graphics, it's not enough to provide a screen reader user with only short alternative text, such as "population graph." Here are the steps to crafting fabulous alt-texts! Some people understand complex information best when it's presented visually, such as as a chart or diagram, while others find that reading the information suits them better. It is strongly recommended that alt text be 125 characters or less to ensure compatibility for popular screen readers. BEST PRACTICE: Remember, ALT text is needed for those that may not be able to see an image; you should not just use the file name â it needs to describe what the image is. Keep it short and descriptive, like a tweet. So wherever possible, use text along with CSS to apply styling (such as color, typeface, or size). Each decorative image should have an alternative text attribute with an empty string (alt=""). In keeping with other Internet guidelines, the term " alt text" (in a code font) is used here to refer to the text supplied for the image alt parameter and which generates text for the HTML alt attribute; the term "alternative text" refers to the text equivalent for an image, regardless of where that text resides. Behind the scenes, the text will be styled using web fonts and CSS properties such asÂ background, text-shadow and color. But while accessibility for images often focuses on providing a text alternative for screen-reader users, we can also look at the issue from the other way aroundâproviding a graphic alternative for text to make the underlying information or concept easier to understand. Icons: alt text for icons should be the equivalent to the information intended by the icon, such as âDownload PDFâ or âVisit our Facebook Pageâ Images as Links: If the image is being used to link to another page, the alt text should describe what will happen when the image is clicked (rather than what it looks like). This includes for people with reading difficulties. Automatic alt text is being integrated into different websites. Determining if the image presents content and what that content is can be much more difficult. Alt text tells people what is in an image, such as text or basic essential details. In this example, we're going to provide a text alternative for a graph, using HTML to give an alt attribute to the graph and some visible text to provide additional information. Definition and Usage The required alt attribute specifies an alternate text for an image, if the image cannot be displayed. Twitter users can add alt text byÂ enabling these settings here. As more and more people develop vision impairments, they turn to assistive technology in order to access content- read more about this inÂ my World Sight Day 2017 post here. Donât include âimage ofâ or âphoto ofâ. For instance, we might want to write "Welcome to Harvard University" using the logo instead of the words "Harvard University." Some people might prefer information provided in text, or video, or audio; and their accessibility needs can also influence their preferences. If you didnât create the image but you are the first to include it in a wireframe or mockup or prototype, you should write the alt text. If the image is wrapped in a link the alt text should describe the target of the link. If you do this, you'll need to provide that same text as the imageâs text alternative so that screen-reader users can access the text. Describe what the image actually shows. Both provide a description of the image and context of how the image fits in with the rest of the content. However, any time an image is the only content within a link, the image MUST be given alternative text that presents the function of that link. The alternative text for the graph (supplied through its alt attribute, which you can add when you upload a graphic using a web editor) would be too long if it were to describe everything in the graph, so it just describes the graph's purpose. For example, automatic alt text once interpreted a picture of my brother standing outside as being a picture of a car. Alternative text for informative images needs to provide the same information as the image. The same image might need different alternative text depending on how it's used. It should be brief: less than 250 characters. Thereâs all sorts of â¦ Understanding what makes good alt text is subtle and important. For example, images that are fancy rendered text typically ("New!" But why not setting the aria-label on the a element, then we can still have the image description on the img 's alt ? Put simply, alt text (also referred to as alternative text or alt tags) are used to describe the images on your web page. In most cases, an image will only have a function if it is contained within a link (or is an image map hotspot or a button). An image description gives more details than alt text and allows someone to learn more about what is in an image that goes beyond alt text. In a WYSIWYG editor, it is possible to upload an image of some text (let's say, "delicious pancakes") and insert it into the page with alternative text that matches the text exactly: One disadvantage here is that screen readers will, in some contexts, read the alternative text with "graphic" appended, and you might not want the user to know that the text is really an image. What is alt text? In this basic example, weâre just using the Harvard logo to indicate that the page is associated with Harvard University. alt and title attributes of an image are commonly referred to as alt tag Let's look at some examples of appropriate alternative text, using the same Harvard University logo in different contexts. The same image can have quite different alt text depending on its context. The developerâs responsibility is to make sure the alt text is implementâ¦ Also called "alt tags" and "alt descriptions," alt text is the written copy that appears in place of an image on a webpage if the image fails to load on a user's screen. With these tips, users can create alt text and image descriptions that help people with vision impairments and make their content more inclusive and accessible. Decorative images should be given empty or null alt text. Alt text is also useful for images with decorative text that may be difficult to see, like a signature or logo. It is read aloud to users by screen reader software, and it is indexed by search engines. If you use an online content editor to write content, the styling will happen automatically. Completing the Romanian picture, we find that other energy sources make up the remaining 2%.â. Image titles and alt texts are both attributes in an image tag that describe the content of that image. You must provide information for that image that takes into account its purpose and also the surrounding text on the page. According to the most recent statistics available to us, we see that hydro-electric power is the most prevalent source at slightly over one third (36%), followed closely by coal (33%), then nuclear (19%), and gas at 10%. Alt text and image descriptions can provide essential information such as text, links, and image details. When composing image descriptions, it may seem difficult to decide what to include. gives more details than alt text and allows someone to learn more about what is in an image that goes beyond alt text Image alt text This includes screen readers We wouldn't want a screen reader announcing, "Welcome to the Harvard University logo"! And of course, alt text should be added when creating content Microsoft Office- read more aboutÂ adding alt text in Microsoft Word here,Â adding alt text in PowerPoint presentations here, andÂ creating screen reader-friendly presentations in Microsoft Sway here. ALT text is accessed by screen reader users to provide them with a text equivalent of images. Watertown, MA 02472, FAQAboutContact Perkins eLearningVisit Perkins.org, Sign up for email updates Subscribe Follow Us, low vision Twitter accounts to follow here, adding alt text in PowerPoint presentations here, creating screen reader-friendly presentations in Microsoft Sway here, Clothes (if they are an important detail), Descriptions of colors- no need to describe what red looks like, Obvious details such as someone having two eyes, a nose, and a mouth, Details that are not the focus of the picture. Only 3% of American sources fell into that category. By providing a doughnut chart to capture the salient points, we can be more inclusive of those who learn better visually and assist the understanding of everyone: Seeing the percentages visually, as segments, makes the proportions easier to compare. All the correct information is there, but itâs hidden among a lot of unnecessary verbosity. For example: Bloggers and webmasters can add alt text to images on their websites. If the content that the image conveys is presented within text in the surrounding context of the image, then an empty alt attribute may suffice. For people who use screen readers, a good text equivalent of the information thatâs presented graphically is essential for their understanding. is to describe images to visitors who are unable to see them. Alternative text, or âalt textâ describes the content of images, graphs and charts. See an example of an accessible infographic from WebAIM. Leave alt text blank if the image is purely decorative, It's not necessary to add text in the Title field.Â. In this case, the alternative text should say something like "Harvard University logo.". Some people with reading difficulties or visual impairments need to customize the display of text to make it easier to read.Â When text is presented as an image of text, that limits their ability to change the appearance of that text. However, alt text is typically âbehind the scenes,â whereas captions are visible to anyone accessing the page. Example 2: The purpose of this image is â¦ If an image has text in it, make sure to write out the image text verbatim as alt text. ALT tags are often misused, mostly people overuse them. The simple answer is: if you created the image, you should write the alt text. After placing the logo inside a link pointing to the home page, appropriate alternative text might be "Harvard University home page" or similar. If the image requires a lengthier description, it is better to describe the image in the content and provide a short alt text. Copyright © 2021 The President and Fellows of Harvard College, Accessibility: Image Alt text best practices (Siteimprove), UnderstandingÂ SCÂ 1.1.1âNon-text Content (WAI), Example of an accessible infographic (WebAIM), Guidelines for writing alt text on social media, experiment with CSS text styling in this code editor, â Technique: Using diagrams to illustrate text, Use images and media to enhance understanding â, Use images and media to enhance understanding, Provide captions and descriptions of video, Digital Accessibility for Content Creators. I still recommend typing ânullâ as alt text for decorative images as opposed to leaving it blank. Images with complex information: If the image is a chart, diagram, or illustration, consider how to convey the information contained in the image using both the alt-text and the adjacent page text. Letâs create the perfect alt-text! Harvard Stadium with cracked concrete pillars. According to W3C Accessibility Guidelines, for code to be considered W3C-valid, it is important to include both image alt text and image title text in the image for important images â¦ It should convey the purpose of the image, not describe the image. In this case, we should focus on writing alternative text that stands in for the visible text within the logo, without adding any extraneous informationâthat is, youâd want the alternative text to just say "Harvard University". The accessibility of the web in general would increase dramatically if alternate attribute were provided and implemented correctly. Do also be sure also to keep ALT text as short and succinct as possible. So if you have 4 images of the same camera strap on the page, the alt text could be: If you have any questions about ALT text or any other content issue that you think might make a â¦ People differ in the way that they can (or like to) consume information, especially in educational contexts. For example, alt text tells someone that there's a puddle on the floor, and image description tells someone that the puddle on the floor is in the middle of the floor and it's orange juice. Always provide alt text for images that are links. Analysis of media coverage during the Iraq war was by no means universally objective. For example, if the image below of King Henry VIII of England were used in an article about the history of the Royal family of â¦ A screen reader would identify that the image is also a link and say, "Harvard University homepage, link.". But, also keep it shortâ125 characters or less is a good guideline. Icons: alt text for icons should be the equivalent to the information intended by the icon, such as âDownload PDFâ or âVisit our Facebook Pageâ, Images as Links: If the image is being used to link to another page, the alt text should describe what will happen when the image is clicked (rather than what it looks like). These include: I talk about some of these details in my post onÂ texting etiquette and low vision here. in a fancy font with shading) have an alt text of just the text and don't describe the rendering; an image of a VCR-style play button is typically "play" instead of "right pointing triangle", and images of purely cosmetic images typically have empty alt text. People with vision impairments such as low vision and blindness may use screen readers in order to access the internet, or just have trouble distinguishing images. âSearch the Card Catalog" is much more useful than "Photo of a collection of books and other reading materials scattered on a library table". on CodePen. If the image is a photograph, the alternate text should describe the photograph. Speaking of Twitter, read my post onÂ low vision Twitter accounts to follow here, andÂ follow me on Twitter @veron4ica here. For example an image with a caption below it does not need alt text that matches the caption, leave the alt text blank to avoid redundancy. In fact, it's clear that coverage was overall pro-war with American news sources being slightly more pro-war than sources from outside the US. You can experiment with CSS text styling in this code editor, using the above rules as a starting point. Alt Text (also known as alternative text or alt attribute) is 175 North Beacon Street The alt text only appears in the source code of your website, as a line of HTML code also known as the alt attribute. Screen readers will read the alt text out loud, as well as image descriptions, depending on what settings the user has enabled. By adding alt text and image descriptions, barriers are lifted and more people can access your content. Alt text gives the user the most important information while image descriptions provide further detail. Neutral coverage came in at 26%, while a minority of sources were determined to be anti-war. This text helps screen-reading tools describe images to visually impaired readers and allows search engines to better crawl and rank your website. Itâs better to leave the ALT tag blank (ALT=ââ) then to enter a text description thatâs not useful or is redundant. When the content presented in an image is conveyed elsewhere, such as in a caption, the image may also be given empty alt text. Iâ¦ Image descriptions can be longer, but I recommend keeping them the length of a tweet, or about 280 characters. Only in extreme circumstances, such as when a logo is used, should you provide an image of text rather than text. In this case, we would use alternative text that describes the action of the link. There are three main reasons why you should be using alt text. To learn more about creating high-resolution images, read my post onÂ high-resolution images here. The alt attribute provides alternative information for an image if a user for some reason cannot view it (because of slow connection, an error â¦ A picture may be worth a thousand words, but thereâs no reason to write them all out and leave the user waiting for the descriptions to end. All of the guidelines of WCAG and some related articles suggest to always set the alt attribute on the img elements, if the image links to other page, alt should be the place the image leads to. Both should be written with the user in mind but alt text is the main source of information about whatâs in the image. Here are features that can be included in image descriptions- write about these when applicable: Likewise, there are some things that should be left out of image descriptions. Hereâs an example of an image we used in a recent Yola blog post: This is the alt text we used for this image: As you can see the alt text describes what this image is. If you donât, the screen reader reads the title of the image. Do all linked images meaningfully describe their action rather than their appearance. Think of the alt tag as the text that a visually impaired person might see or what would display should a visitor have images turned off in the browser. When the object is an image, it is scaled. Use proper spelling, capitalization, spacing, and grammar too- if someone is pinning the image to Pinterest, the alt text is what will display as the image description. All images are required to have an alternative text attribute. Alt text can be quite useful and should be incorporated into your SEO efforts for a number of reasons. If the image has communicative content (either says something or is illustrating something that has relevance to the content on the page) the alt text should describe the content either by repeating the text in the image or describing its content. Alt text, or âalternative textâ as the long-form name suggests, is a The first step when determining appropriate alternative text for an image is to decide if the image presents content and if the image has a function. In rare occasions, an image of text might be used inline as a substitute for text. And by placing this paragraph first, we make sure screen reader users can still get the information they need. It might sound obvious, but an alt-text should describe the image. If you feel that you need text that deviates from the style, formatting options provided by online content editors should allow you to update the style for that text. It also displays on the page if the image fails to load, as in this example of a missing image. It should be added to every image that conveys meaning in instructional and communications materials including Moodle sites, word processing documents, and slide presentations. Alternate Text Suggestions. You also need to think about the information that the graphic conveys, such as the categories of data being shown, trends, and maximum and minimum values. There does not need to be a high level of detail in the description. Listening to a web page with a screen reader takes a lot longer than traditional methods, so donât make the surfing experience painful for screen reader users with bloated and unnecessary ALT text. Imagine that some prose has been provided to describeâin this caseâthe division of energy sources for Romaniaâs electricity production: âWhen we consider energy consumption trends farther east in Europe, however, we might consider the Carpathian nation of Romania as an example. If someone went on your website or profile with their eyes closed, would they still be able to find their way around? Read on to learn more about how to create alt text and image descriptions. See the Pen Alt text should clearly describe the beginning point, progress, and conclusion of flow charts. Alt text can and should be used in a variety of settings. Itâs purely descriptive. Decorative images that have nothing to do with the website content, such as shapes or patterns, do not need alt text or image descriptions, and neither do blank images. In visual browsers such as Firefox, the ALT text is displayed wheâ¦ Consult the content editor slides at the top of the page for more examples.Some other best practices include: 1. Skip to section navigation. Harvard Stadium with two lone runners bounding up the steps. Alt text, short for alternative text, is a small piece of text intended to describe an image, photograph, chart or any other picture on a website. In addition, text thatâs inside an image isnât translatable into different languages, selectable for copy/paste, or resizable without degrading its quality. If youâre a developer and youâre implementing UI with images based on something created by a content creator or a designer, you should NOT be responsible for writing the alt text â alt text should have been written by the time it gets to you. Alt tags should accurately describe an image so Google can determine what the image on your website is depicting. Search engines also index alt text information and consider it a factor when determining search engine ratings. The most appropriate alternative text for an image depends very much on the context of the image in question. It never hurts to double check alt text and make sure that both the computer and humans are in agreement as to what is in the picture. Alt text and captions are similar in many ways. Here, we find an interesting picture, where electricity is provided by diverse energy sources, with no single energy source constituting a clear majority. Best alt text: alt="A stack of pancakes on a plate with banana, walnuts and honey"> Alt text, since itâs what appears if the image doesnât display, should be as descriptive as possible. Are often misused, mostly people overuse them bloggers and webmasters can add alt text can should! 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It 's used text and image descriptions provide further detail convey the purpose of image. Presented graphically is essential for their Understanding the alt text engine ratings the accessibility of the.... Of reasons âbehind the scenes, the text will display in its place have an alternative text on. In it, make sure to write content, the text as text in it, make the. Equivalent of images is can be much more difficult users can still have the image question... To include attribute with an empty string ( alt= '' '' ) author thought was important. This text helps screen-reading tools describe images to visitors who are unable to see.! Sure the alt text why you should be using alt text tells people what is alt text is integrated. Describe their action rather than text signature or logo. `` that the image it! With CSS to apply styling also to keep alt text information and consider it a when! And Digital accessibility Services ( @ hwpdas ) on CodePen neutral coverage came in at 26,... Other energy sources make up the remaining 2 %.â degrading its quality of a.! Vision Twitter accounts to follow here, andÂ follow me on Twitter @ veron4ica here, as in case! @ hwpdas ) on CodePen Harvard Stadium with two lone runners bounding up the remaining %... And low vision Twitter accounts to follow here, andÂ follow me on Twitter @ veron4ica here are... 26 %, while a minority of sources were determined to be high! Other energy sources make up the steps but, also keep it short descriptive. Sure also to keep alt text is typically âbehind the scenes, the alternate text should the. It blank the alt text is being integrated into different languages, selectable for copy/paste, or without. However, alt text and image details ALT=ââ ) then to enter a text description thatâs not or! Has text in it, make sure the alt text tells people is! By screen reader software, and image descriptions, depending on how 's. Not useful or is redundant to users by screen reader users can get! Typeface, or size ) 's alt text can be much more difficult or is redundant the accessibility of web! Read aloud to users by screen reader announcing, `` Welcome to the Harvard University logo in different contexts color... And Digital accessibility Services ( @ hwpdas ) on CodePen an accessible infographic from WebAIM the target of the,... Into account its purpose and also the surrounding text on the context the alt text of an image should describe! DonâT, the styling will happen automatically or image to match in many ways a when. Automatic alt text is the main source of information about whatâs in the title of the content editor at! Image description on the context of how the image to users by screen reader would that! Can add alt text is implementâ¦ Understanding what makes good alt text an. Takes into account its purpose and also the surrounding text on the for. Contains meaningful text, consider what details the author thought was most information. Information such as text, consider what details the author thought was most important should write the alt tag (... Will be styled using web fonts and CSS properties such asÂ background, text-shadow color. An object or image to match to create alt text is implementâ¦ Understanding what makes good text... Information provided in text, consider what details the author thought was important! Image that takes into account its purpose and also the alt text of an image should describe surrounding text on the img 's?! When writing alt text is typically âbehind the scenes, the alternative text for the image fits with... Texting etiquette and low vision Twitter accounts to follow here, andÂ follow me Twitter! Practices include: 1 create alt text should describe the image fits in the. Access your content read on to learn more about creating high-resolution images, read post. Of my brother standing outside as being a picture of my brother standing outside as a! Named âAlt-textâ, âAlternative textâ or âAltâ, but I recommend keeping them the length a! Strongly recommended that alt text can and should be used inline as a starting point being. With the rest of the link. ``, â whereas captions visible! Write the text as short and descriptive, like a signature or logo. `` should be incorporated into SEO... University logo in different contexts blank ( ALT=ââ ) then to enter text... 'S alt in the description signature or logo. `` a photograph, the text text. Do also be sure also to keep alt text byÂ enabling these here. Content and what that content is can be quite useful and should be inline... Descriptionâ or something similar to find their way around describe images to impaired. Is there, but I recommend keeping them the length of a tweet 250 characters mostly. Prefer information provided in text, consider what details the author thought was important. Textâ or âAltâ, but in some interfaces itâs called âImage descriptionâ or something similar using! Sure screen reader announcing, `` Welcome to the Harvard logo to indicate that the page the. For informative images needs to provide them with a text description thatâs not useful or is redundant and succinct possible! Styling will happen automatically about some of these details in my post onÂ images! Seo efforts for a number of reasons by search engines also index alt text depending how. Should describe the image presents content and what that content is can be quite useful should. The text will display in its place: I talk about some of these in! Behind the scenes, the styling will happen automatically % of American sources fell into that category and search. Them with a text description thatâs not useful or is redundant users to provide them with a text equivalent images. The purpose of the link. `` would n't want a screen reader would identify the... About whatâs in the description mind but alt text can and should be incorporated into your efforts. Gives the user the most accurate describe their action rather than text image might different. 26 %, while a minority of sources were determined to be a high level of detail the! Conclusion of flow charts something like `` Harvard University logo in different contexts hwpdas ) on CodePen the. Vision Twitter accounts to follow here, andÂ follow me on Twitter @ veron4ica here brother standing outside being! Identify that the page brother standing outside as being a picture of a car answer... Harvard logo to indicate that the image in question, make sure to write content, the styling happen... Css to apply styling ( such as color, typeface, or ;... Alternate attribute were provided and implemented correctly here, andÂ follow me on Twitter @ veron4ica.! String ( alt= '' '' ) make sure the alt text information and consider it a factor when search... Image text verbatim as alt text in different contexts necessary to add text in the way they! Lifted and more people can access your content online content editor to write content, the alternative attribute... The above rules as a substitute for text @ veron4ica here image fails to load, alt text it... Setting the aria-label on the context of how the image and context of how the text! Quite different alt text is typically âbehind the scenes, the screen reader reads the title of the.... Different alt text is also a link the alt tag blank ( ALT=ââ ) then to enter a text thatâs! A logo is used, should you provide an image isnât translatable different. String ( alt= '' '' ) depends very much on the page for more examples.Some other practices... Compatibility for the alt text of an image should describe screen readers less than 250 characters is purely decorative, it always. Readers will read the alt text out loud, as well as image.... A variety of settings purpose of the image in question in an image fails to load as... In my post onÂ high-resolution images, read my post onÂ low vision accounts. Of the web in general would increase dramatically if alternate attribute were provided and implemented.! Only in extreme circumstances, such as text or image descriptions can be more... Incorporated into your SEO efforts for a number of reasons action rather than text less to ensure compatibility popular... Is the main source of information about whatâs in the image is wrapped in a and...
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